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Missing Girl`s Stepfather Confesses to Murder
Aired December 19, 2005 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, breaking news in the disappearance and death of 12-year-old Texas girl, Teke Buggs. Her stepfather, tonight named a suspect, now confesses to another 1998 murder of his own cousin, and the body found in the same river as Teke`s was last week. Could 12-year-old Teke`s death been stopped?
And also tonight, two women committed suicide 14 years apart. Only two things in common -- let`s think about this -- the manner of suicide, shooting, and a man, prominent dentist Barton Corbin, dating one, married to the other.
Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight.
Tonight, dentist Barton Corbin`s former girlfriend, Dorothy "Dolly" Hearn, committed suicide 1990, his wife Jennifer last year, both shot once in the head with a .38-caliber found near the body. Double suicide or double murder?
And tonight, the mysterious disappearance of American man, 26-year-old George Smith, on his honeymoon cruise in the Greek islands. Tonight, Smith`s family is with us here in the studio.
But first tonight, breaking news in the disappearance and death of 12- year-old little girl Teke Buggs. And now the little girl`s stepfather, Steven Carrington, confesses to killing a man years ago, disposing of the body in the same Texas river where little Teke was found last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Ms. Foy, where did the stepfather go that evening, and how long was he out of the home?
LARONALD FOY, TEKE`S MOTHER: I`m not quite sure where he went because I wasn`t there, but...
GRACE: Has he told you?
FOY: No, ma`am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I want to go straight out to KFNC-FM news channel reporter Belinda Babinec. Belinda, thank you for being with us again tonight. The news just keeps getting worse out of Orchard, Texas!
BELINDA BABINEC, KFNC: That`s right. Steve Carrington told Fort Bend County sheriff`s investigators on Friday that he shot and killed his cousin, 21-year-old Corey Brooks, in the head and dumped his body in the Brazos River...
GRACE: Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! What got into him? He`s a suspect in the death of Teke Buggs, and he blurts out, Hey, back in the `90s, I did another murder?
BABINEC: Well, the timing of this is very interesting, Nancy, in that the fact that Fort Bend County sheriff`s detectives went to Steve Carrington`s home before Teke Buggs ever disappeared. They got a tip saying that, Hey, you guys have this man whose body was never found, 21- year-old Corey Brooks. You should check out Steve Carrington`s house. So they did.
GRACE: Anonymous tip? But will that hold up in court? I mean, the police have got to explain why they went to someone`s home. Anonymous tip!
BABINEC: They got anonymous letter from someone...
GRACE: Oh, a letter? A letter? OK. Go ahead. Then they can produce that in court.
BREMNER: ... saying that, You should go check out Steve Carrington`s house. This is the man`s cousin. And so they did, before little Teke ever went missing. So on Friday, this past Friday, he confessed to Fort Bend County sheriff`s officials that he shot his 21-year-old cousin, Corey Brooks, in the head and dumped his body in the Brazos River back in 1998. Brooks was reported missing -- his mom saw him last on June 19, 1998. He wasn`t reported missing until January 31, 1999.
GRACE: Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait! He was shot when?
BABINEC: Mr. Carrington tells sheriff`s detectives that he shot Brooks in 1998.
GRACE: The month.
BABINEC: I`m not sure of the month.
GRACE: OK, and he was reported -- from what I`m hearing, 21-year-old Corey Brooks, his family took six months to report him missing?
BABINEC: Over. Over six months. His mother last saw him on June 19, 1998.
GRACE: You know what? I just want to announce right now if I go missing, it takes my family six months to report me missing, prosecute them, all right? I`m giving you full leeway. Go ahead.
BABINEC: His mother last saw him June 19, 1998. He wasn`t reported missing until January 31, 1999.
GRACE: Very quickly, I want to go to Michelle Suskauer, defense attorney out of Florida. Michelle, you`ve got the stepfather, Teke Buggs`s stepfather, behind bars. He was behind bars on another incident. It was a domestic violence claim, out of the house where the little girl lived. Everybody -- Rosie (ph), could you show me a shot of Teke, please, as well as a map as to where this went down.
So he`s behind bars on a domestic hold. Look at this little girl, 12 years old! Small town, Orchard, Texas. And suddenly, Michelle, he starts blurting out that he`s responsible for a 1998 murder. What`s your first move? And good luck.
MICHELLE SUSKAUER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: My first move as his lawyer?
SUSKAUER: Is stop him from talking immediately because this guy has a big mouth.
GRACE: Don`t you think it`s a little too late for that?
SUSKAUER: Oh, well, I mean, obviously, on this case. But he`s in a whole lot of trouble. And obviously, the police are aiming probably at the right guy here.
GRACE: But what`s so amazing -- listen to this, Michelle. If he`s telling the truth about killing the 21-year-old man in 1998 -- everybody, we`re actually talking about the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl. If he`s telling the truth, he really never had any new ideas because he disposed of Teke`s body, if he`s, in fact, guilty, basically on top of the 1998 body.
Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM MILLER, TEXAS EQUUSEARCH: We brought in some special sonar equipment. We flew it in. And then we also had a dog on one of the boats from Louisiana, a water cadaver dog. And we`d been in the river every day, and we was determined that we was just going to stay in that river because we did everything else on ground we knew what to do.
And it`s a very sad day, you know, for the family, for our whole community. And we do a lot of these, but they don`t get any easier.
Oh, I knew immediately, Nancy. I mean, it was a mile from her house. Nobody else was reported missing. And it was real hard at that time when we found her because the biological father was actually there. And we didn`t tell him at that time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: OK, let`s break it down. Ray Giudice, prominent attorney out of Atlanta jurisdiction -- Ray, let`s take a look at what we`ve got. What`s going to stick in court? What`s going to fail? What`s going to be suppressed? You`ve got anonymous letter to police saying, If you want to find out something about the Teke Buggs case, go here. Ellie (ph), it was Teke Buggs tip letter, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. It was actually about the cousin, Corey Brooks.
GRACE: OK, it was the cousin, a `98 murder. So with this anonymous letter, they start investigating. Also, they claim to him -- they go to him behind bars, Ray, and say, We`ve got the accomplice that helped you get rid of the body. Whether they do or not, he suddenly cracks like a candy cane and tells everything.
RAY GIUDICE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right. Well, first what I would do, just to reiterate, I`d wrap this man`s head with duct tape and keep him from talking any further because he`s not helping himself. But secondly, I`d want to look at the total circumstance of this alleged statement, the use of these witnesses, quote unquote, may be coercive. I don`t know whether he was read his Miranda rights...
GIUDICE: Well, if it`s...
GRACE: Wait! Wait! Wait!
GIUDICE: Hold on now. If the facts...
GRACE: Please, Rosie (ph), show his face when I can see -- I want to make sure his lips are actually moving here.
GIUDICE: Nancy, if...
GRACE: Because you know the police can trick somebody into a confession.
GIUDICE: Well, that`s right. However, they`ve got to read him his Miranda rights. He`s clearly in custody...
GRACE: Not him, Giudice!
GIUDICE: They`ve got to make sure he understands that he`s...
GRACE: Yes! There you go!
GIUDICE: ... the focus of this investigation, and he`s got to not be coerced. And you know, look, I think that letter is probably from one of those co-defendants, soon to be, on that other case, that apparently helped dispose of the body. That`s what I think. That`s all going to come into evidence because that`s going to be a nice foundation for that.
GRACE: Everybody, Teke Buggs is a little girl we helped -- we wanted to help find. We publicized her picture, the circumstances around her disappearance, day after day after day. Unfortunately, Equusearch, Tim Miller, found the little girl, her remains, in the Brazos River near her home.
And joining me right now, I`m hearing in my ear, is Teke`s grandmother, Norma Moss. Now, this is her paternal grandmother. Thank you, Ms. Moss, for being with us.
NORMA MOSS, GRANDMOTHER OF TEKE BUGGS: Thank you, Nancy.
GRACE: How is your family doing?
MOSS: Oh, right now we`re all in mourning for the loss of Teke because she was such a sweet child. We never had any problems with Teke at the time that she spent with us. So right now -- we have some closure, but not complete closure.
GRACE: How was the search on your family, day in, day out? And when they started searching this body of water, the Brazos River, that must have just wrenched your heart in two.
MOSS: Oh, yes, it did, Nancy, because as the divers went out and the volunteers went out, we didn`t know what they were going to come back with or what they were going to come back and say to us.
GRACE: Ms. Moss, what did your daughter, who very kindly appeared on our show -- what did your daughter -- what was her reaction when she realized her longtime boyfriend of nine years -- he had lived in the home nine years, right?
MOSS: Nancy, the daughter is not...
GRACE: Right. Right. I`m sorry. How...
GRACE: Teke`s mother. I`m asking how`s Teke`s mother.
MOSS: Well, she`s in a depressed stage. I don`t know if it really has just hit her that her child is really gone. I don`t know what is it going to take to make her realize that, you know, Teke is gone. I don`t know if it`s going to be the funeral services or what.
GRACE: Ms. Moss, why do you say she doesn`t realize Teke is dead?
MOSS: It`s by her reactions, the reactions that I have, you know, seen while I`ve been around her. It`s like she`s just waiting, that Teke, you know, is going to come through the door again.
GRACE: How is she taking the very disturbing news that her long-time boyfriend is a named suspect in Teke`s death?
MOSS: Well, as far as I could see, she`s in denial.
GRACE: Why do you say that?
MOSS: I guess she really had faith in this man, you know? From the time she has been with him...
GRACE: Nine years is a long time.
MOSS: Yes, and I believe that she don`t -- she just really don`t believe that he would do something like this.
GRACE: Speaking of Teke`s mother, she was recently with us. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Where did her stepfather go?
FOY: Don`t know. I`m not sure. I`m not sure. I don`t know. He probably -- I`m not sure.
GRACE: Did he leave the home that night?
FOY: Yes, ma`am. When he came back in, he came in and woke my 2- year-old up and asked her was she -- where was Teketria at? And she just said she didn`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: To psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig. Dr. Robi, you`ve got so many issues at play here, but I guarantee you Teke`s mom and going to wake up and blame herself...
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Oh, yes.
GRACE: ... that she let this guy into the home. And she may not have had any way of predicting this would have happened.
LUDWIG: You really don`t have any way of predicting what someone...
GRACE: Well, yes, sometimes you do.
LUDWIG: ... will do...
GRACE: Wasn`t he behind bars on a domestic violence call to that home where Teke lived?
LUDWIG: But you know what? Sometimes you can make exceptions when you love somebody. And sometimes, this type of dangerous character is very lovable, and you can kind of believe...
LUDWIG: ... that they`re going to be different with you. In terms of their...
GRACE: Robi! Robi! Robi!
LUDWIG: ... intimate relationship...
LUDWIG: In an intimate relationship -- it`s amazingly so.
GRACE: You mean, like, when he was beating her?
LUDWIG: Some women -- some women are drawn to that. They feel they deserve to be punished or if they feel if they`re only good enough, then they`ll get the right type of treatment. I mean, it sounds like there`s a lot of pathology that went on in the dynamics of this family that created this horrible scenario. It just didn`t happen out of nowhere.
GRACE: You know, I want to the former head of the FBI Houston bureau, special guest with us tonight, Don Clark. Don, out of all the cases I ever tried where a child had been molested or mistreated by the dad or the boyfriend, the mother normally, typically rejected it because somehow, it would have been, in their mind, their fault. The guilt would have been crushing to think that they had subjected their child to, basically, a monster.
DON CLARK, FORMER HEAD OF FBI HOUSTON BUREAU: Yes, Nancy, we`ve seen that, too, and we`ve seen a lot of cases where they feel like, Oh, my goodness, it`s my fault and my responsibility.
But the point is, right now, that I think where the mother, the parents, the family and certainly the investigators have got to get busy on this, trying to connect this evidence together so they can really see if this is the guy that`s really responsible for that. Now, I had a conversation today with the people down in Fort Bend County sheriff, and that`s exactly what they`re trying to do. They`re looking at every possible avenue to get any particle that they can from finding this young girl so that they can get it into a laboratory and see if they can add to that statement that he gave of killing Corey Brooks back six years ago.
GRACE: Don Clark is with us. He`s the former head of the FBI Houston bureau. Don, very quickly, the sheriff there, didn`t he say he believed a murder charge would come down once the lab results are back on Teke`s body?
CLARK: Yes. I think I heard that, as well. And I think what he`s talking about here -- and I don`t want to put words in Milton Light`s (ph) mouth here -- but in terms of the investigation, what he`s probably saying is that, Look, we have some evidence here, and we have picked up some evidence. Keep in mind they`ve been in this home. They now have the body from this young girl that`s there. And they are able to identify certain things, whether it`s hairs, Nancy, fibers, blood, semen even. You don`t know what have taken place there.
GRACE: But Don, she has been under water for well over a week now.
CLARK: Yes, I understand, but these people are good, now. And with the new DNA techniques that they have now, they`re able to withstand some of that -- things that`s been under water or been put in positions that it may have started to spoil a bit. They`ve been able to salvage that and bring it back again. So I think the sophisticated laboratories will be able to make some matches, if they have the evidence there.
GRACE: Everyone, quick break.
But first, tonight, breaking news. A seaplane with 20 passengers crashed off Miami Beach. At least 19 dead tonight, divers searching right now for that 20th person on board. It was twin-engine plane crashing on takeoff to the Bahamas. Now, one witness reports an explosion, and because of that, as we speak, the FBI is helping in the investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOSS: I`m just hoping and praying that he will confess, if he was the one to do this to Teke, that he would tell the truth about this.
DEPUTY CRAIG BRADY, FORT BEND SHERIFF`S OFFICE: I think they were just unwilling to turn him in based on that particular murder. However, when you`re talking about murdering a very young child, even with hardened people, it gets their attention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back. Thanks for being with us on this Monday night.
Well, Lady Justice didn`t have much of a weekend. The man now behind bars as a suspect in the death of 12-year-old Teke Buggs has suddenly confessed to a 1998 murder of a 21-year-old man. Here`s the kicker. We believe he may have deposited both bodies practically on top of each other in the Brazos River near Orchard, Texas.
You know, bottom line, Ray Giudice, it`s trial 101. I`m talking aggravating circumstances. We`re in Texas. You know what that means, Ray.
GIUDICE: That means death penalty, Nancy. Absolutely.
GRACE: Explain aggravating circumstances in this case. Basically, what it is generically is when the circumstances surrounding a murder case constitute death penalty eligible. Go ahead, Ray.
GIUDICE: That`s right. And that`s where the defendant in the case is looking with an evil heart, a malice, premeditation...
GRACE: Oh, that`s just murder one.
GRACE: I`m talking death penalty.
GIUDICE: Right. And then you`ve got -- a capital case is going to where you`ve got a child, kidnapping, asportation (ph) of the body...
GRACE: Double murder?
GIUDICE: Oh, and -- absolutely.
GRACE: Oh, yes, I forgot that, the double murder...
GRACE: ... the two dead body thing!
GIUDICE: Well, that`s right.
GRACE: That`s -- it`s huge, Ray. If he is, in fact, connected to the Teke Buggs murder, he`s got two deaths under his belt.
GIUDICE: And that`s right. And a case that we may speak about later tonight, the issue of similar transactions is going to come up again. And you alluded to the point earlier that, apparently, both body were dumped in the river close to the scene of the death. There`s a lot of evidence that appears to be connecting this man to these two murders. And I believe, as he continues to talk to investigators, apparently without counsel, from what I understand, we`re going to learn more about this young lady`s death very shortly.
GRACE: Yes. Back to the morning editor with KFNC Newschannel, Belinda Babinec. Belinda, does he or does he not have a lawyer?
BABINEC: He does not have a lawyer at this time, according to the Fort Bend County district attorney`s office. And -- oh, I keep losing my earpiece. Sorry. And he...
GRACE: That`s OK.
BABINEC: He -- a judge could be named in the case as early as tonight. And something else I want to mention to you, Nancy. Both Brooks and little Teke went missing from the same home a mile away from that Brazos River.
GRACE: Oh, yes! Similar transaction out the wazoo! When and if this goes to trial, the jury will be hearing about both incidents, once he`s really connected to Teke`s murder.
To Norma Moss, with us, Teke`s grandmother, her paternal grandmother. Ms. Moss, to make matters worse, not only did Teke go missing, but the thought of her out there at the bottom of that river all this time must be killing her mom.
MOSS: Oh, yes, it is, especially with the divers going back and forth, up and down the river for 15 times or more and never...
GRACE: She saw that every time?
MOSS: Each time. Not only her, but my son is out there watching this going on.
GRACE: Ms. Moss?
GRACE: Your ex-daughter-in-law was with us. And if you could just convey to her our sympathy and our prayers. And we all had hoped that that body was not Teke. So thank you for being with us.
MOSS: Thank you, Nancy.
GRACE: Yes, ma`am. Twelve years old. You know, that`s when, normally, you`re out selling Girl Scout cookies and entering 5th grade -- 12 years old.
Very quickly, to tonight`s case alert. Tonight, police believe they may have found the -- excuse me. We`re going to go to a different case alert. I`ll take you back there later in the show.
Tonight, a memorial service for Melinda Superville, that Texas doctor, the mother of a 2-year-old boy, Melinda Superville`s body found in an abandoned home, remember, just one week after she went missing. Mystery still surrounds the case, a gun and pills found near the doctor`s body. No one knows whether the answer is murder or suicide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAX BARBER, JENNIFER`S FATHER: Oh, occasionally, they`ll bring up their mom (ph) (INAUDIBLE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: A father missing his daughter. Welcome back, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us.
Let`s go down to the Georgia jurisdiction. Now, here`s the deal. You`ve got two suicides, or are they, 14 years apart. To Andria Simmons, staff writer with The Gwinnett Daily Post." Bring us up to date.
ANDRIA SIMMONS, "GWINNETT DAILY POST": OK. The next step in this is going to be a motions hearing in Gwinnett County. The lawyers have decided to try it in Gwinnett County first, and so we`re going to have to establish similar transaction...
GRACE: Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! For those viewers that are just learning about the case...
GRACE: ... give me a thumbnail.
SIMMONS: OK. There`s a case from 1990 involving Barton Corbin`s ex- girlfriend, and her name is Dorothy Hearn. She was found dead, and she had a single gunshot wound to the head. Similarly, last year, his wife, whom he was going through a divorce with at the time, was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the head. And now that case sort of led the authorities in Richmond County, where his ex-girlfriend was killed, to reexamine that case. And they`ve linked them. They believe they both died...
SIMMONS: ... at the hands of Barton Corbin.
GRACE: Andria, we`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB CORBIN, BARTON CORBIN`S BROTHER: I`m asking 12 people that are impartial. That`s it. Look at facts. Because I`m hearing a bunch of rhetoric and I`m hearing a bunch of, you know -- I don`t know what the word I`m looking for. You know, they`re just basically tearing him down, attacking his image, more or less. And I haven`t heard any facts; I`ve heard a lot of smoke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And according to the dentist, he was with his brother at the time one of these murders went down, so he may actually hear more from that guy, Bob Corbin.
Welcome back, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. And we are bringing you a story out of the Georgia jurisdiction that`s headed straight to trial. Back to Andria Simmons, with "Gwinnett Daily Post."
Andria, again, welcome. Andria, is this a death penalty case?
SIMMONS: No, there isn`t going to be any death penalty sought in this case.
SIMMONS: They have to establish aggravating circumstances. And in this case, I`ve been told that they just don`t have that.
GRACE: Two bodies, two dead bodies aren`t enough?
SIMMONS: Apparently not, Nancy.
GRACE: Holy moly. What about it, Ray Giudice? It`s your neck of the woods, two women, 14 years apart, both die of a single gunshot wound to the head, both are so depressed they commit suicide, both are slung up with Corbin at the time they die?
GIUDICE: Nancy, that`s going to be the defense story. And you heard that in the motions that were heard in Augusta last week. But I think the problem for the defense in this case is going to be that similar transaction motion which the reporter just indicated will be heard shortly. And in my opinion, Judge Clark is going to allow the similar transaction evidence.
GRACE: Who`s the judge?
GIUDICE: Judge Clark.
GIUDICE: From Gwinnett County Superior Court. And if you remember back in the Wayne Williams trial, back in the early `80s, the Supreme Court of Georgia okayed the use of similar transaction evidence to show scheme, motive, plan, opportunity, intent, identity, et cetera, et cetera. And there are a lot of similarities in this case. There`s certainly plenty for the defense to work with, but for the state, with that similar transaction motion, that`s golden.
GRACE: And tomorrow night, joining us will be the defense attorney, a prominent defense attorney in the Atlanta jurisdiction, David Wolf. I`ve had a couple of go-arounds with him myself in the courtroom.
I`m going to go now to a very special guest. Max Barber is with us. This is Jennifer`s father.
Welcome, Mr. Barber. Thank you for being with us.
MAX BARBER, JENNIFER CORBIN`S FATHER: Thank you. Thank you very much.
GRACE: How are you feeling, as the trial date gets closer?
BARBER: You know, it would be more pleasant to say it would start tomorrow, but we`re going to take our due course. We`re going to have a hearing in February for similar transactions. Then we`re going to have, of course, the case -- the case is set up for April the 17th, 2006.
GRACE: Mr. Barber, why isn`t the state -- and I know. I`m a crime victim myself. I know that a death penalty case cannot bring back the person you loved so dearly. But why isn`t the state going forward with at least trying to get the death penalty?
BARBER: Well, you know, there are two different cases here...
BARBER: ... and on two different dates. I believe that the case in Gwinnett County, I have a great deal of confidence in Danny Porter (ph). I think the case is extremely strong. I have seen some of the evidence. I`ve heard a lot of information from both sides.
But I feel that if we get the honest conviction in Gwinnett County, it`s hard for me to say to you, but you`ve been around long enough to understand, possibly, if there were a second trial in Richmond County, maybe the state would look at it differently at that time.
GRACE: Right, because they would have a firm similar transaction to take to that Augusta jury.
Very quickly, I want to go to Jennifer`s sister. Heather Tierney is with us.
Heather, it`s nice to see you again. How is your family?
HEATHER TIERNEY, JENNIFER CORBIN`S SISTER: We`re hanging in there. Holidays are tough...
GRACE: I know.
TIERNEY: ... but we`re hunkering down, and I think we`re going to have a nice holiday.
GRACE: Could you explain to the viewers just joining us the facts surrounding your sister`s death?
TIERNEY: There are a lot of facts around my sister`s death.
TIERNEY: I can tell you this: It was an avalanche. It went downhill very fast. My sister wanted a divorce. As her sister and looking out for the kids, we asked if she would be interested in going to see a counselor. She was not interested in doing that. She said that she had no love there anymore. And there are just a lot of facts, there`s a lot of evidence...
GRACE: Well, where was Corbin the day your sister was shot?
TIERNEY: The day that my sister was found, he was supposedly at his brother`s house, Bobby. As far as where was Bart when my sister was murdered, I think he said that he was at his brother`s house. However, I believe that there is evidence that`s going to prove that to be untrue.
GRACE: You mean the cell records?
TIERNEY: That`s correct.
GRACE: You know, don`t move, Heather.
Michelle Suskauer, when will suspects ever learn not to speak? OK, here`s this dentist. He`s a prominent dentist in the community, very well- known. So when police begin questioning them, he gets his brother, Bob Corbin, as his alibi. Boom, his cell phone records show he`s right around the house at the time of the shooting.
SUSKAUER: Because he didn`t plan this out well, obviously. And he should not have been speaking. He`s just giving them more ammunition against him.
GRACE: Michelle, explain to us how those...
SUSKAUER: He`s going to have...
GRACE: ... how those cell locators work.
SUSKAUER: You know, Nancy, I don`t really know how those cell locators work. What I was going to talk to you about was what your other guest, Ray, said about the similar facts evidence. And he`s going to have some significant problems here with both.
But if he`s using his brother as an alibi and he has calls to his brother or the cell phone towers are showing that he`s in a particular location, it`s going to completely shoot that down. He`s going to lose all credibility.
GRACE: You know, you`re right about that.
And to Don Clark, former head of the FBI Houston bureau, Don, it`s my understanding it works like this. When you pass a cell tower, you don`t necessarily have to be within eye shot of it, but you make a cell call, and you could be registered, for instance, in New York with your cell phone, but if you`re using the phone, for instance, in Virginia or California, your cell number bounces off the tower.
And while there is not a written record of that, that can be extracted from the machinery, from the hard drive of the tower. We can now pinpoint within a couple of blocks where you are when you make a cell call.
CLARK: That`s absolutely correct, Nancy. And what they`ve done with technology is absolutely amazing. You can even trace people as they move about and make telephone calls.
I mean, we`ve used systems that are similar to that, even in drug trafficking cases, just following suspects along. So the technology is there for them to do it.
There`s a lot of similarity in the evidence here, Nancy. And I think that`s what`s going to help make this case, is being able to put that similarity together and see how it really compares to the case that occurred some years ago.
GRACE: Heather, what happened in your life the day your sister was killed?
TIERNEY: It was by far the worst day of my life. We got a phone call that morning. And the minute we found out Jennifer was dead, I knew exactly what had happened.
Mr. Corbin`s behavior the week prior to my sister`s death was psychotic. He was acting absolutely crazy. My sister`s son, Dalton (ph), who we have, had told my sister and told me that he was afraid that his dad was going to kill his mom.
And I even called Bart`s brother, Bobby, and I told him that I was worried. I was wondering if he had a support system because Dalton was saying this. And I was worried that Bart was not getting some kind of support.
And then that morning we got that phone call, and it was absolute devastation. My sister and I had had talks about it. She had called me and told me what Dalton was saying.
And I asked her point blank, I said, "Jennifer?" And she said Dalton is saying that he`s afraid Bart`s going to kill me. I said, "Jennifer, do you think he will?"
GRACE: Oh, gosh.
TIERNEY: And I asked her. And she said, "I don`t think he would, because I don`t think he`d do that to the kids." And I said, "Jennifer, that`s a bad reason." And if we could just go back in time and change things, we certainly would.
GRACE: Oh, gosh. Heather, I am so sorry.
TIERNEY: If we had had any idea...
GRACE: Dr. Robi, when you hear that, what is your advice to Heather, her sister?
LUDWIG: Well, I mean, she`s an amazing family member. And, you know, the grieving process is so difficult after a murder, especially after you have a sense that a marriage is in a dangerous state.
But the bottom line is: Things are always more clear in retrospect and in hindsight than when you`re in the moment looking into the future. And it sounds like Jennifer had an amazingly supportive family and that they did everything that they could, that this man was -- you know, it sounds -- this type of controlling killer-type. When a woman is leaving them, sometimes they will do anything to hold on to them, even if it means killing them.
GRACE: Everybody, we will be covering the case live as it happens. That case set down for similar transaction hearings. And we`ll bring you the latest on that.
Very quickly, to tonight`s "Case Alert." Police believe that they have found a body of a 10-year-old we told you about. This little girl, Alejandra Gutierrez, disappeared 11 days ago on her way to the school bus. Just this weekend, hundreds of people retraced the path she took to school the day she went missing. And now, police are working to confirm the identity of the little body. They claim to us that they are eyeing an unnamed suspect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BREE SMITH, SISTER OF MISSING GROOM: As you know, my brother, George Smith, went missing on July 5th from the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas. We believe he was murdered on his honeymoon with a lifetime of happiness and a promising future ahead of him. George is very missed by his family, as well as his many friends.
The slow pace of the FBI investigation is the direct result of Royal Caribbean not locking down the ship in Turkey and pushing the Turkish investigators off the boat so that the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Sea could sail on to its next port on schedule.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That`s right. Remember how many nights we tried to figure out the mystery surrounding 26-year-old George Smith? Tonight, his family is with us.
At a time that should have been the happiest of his life, he and his beautiful young bride go on their honeymoon. He disappears mysteriously off a cruise ship, a gorgeous cruise ship, is never seen again. The family left with nothing, no closure, no answers, no son, no brother.
Tonight, with me here in the studio is George`s family. Welcome to all of you. Thank you for being with us.
GEORGE SMITH, FATHER OF MISSING GROOM: Thank you, Nancy.
B. SMITH: Thank you for having us.
MAUREEN SMITH, MOTHER OF MISSING GROOM: Thank you.
GRACE: It`s amazing to me that you have the strength to keep a brave front. All of you wearing George`s picture on your lapels. How do you do that? How do you continue on with no answers?
G. SMITH: We`re doing it based for justice for George. We have to do it for him. We don`t want his life to go in vain. And we want some justice for him and some laws passed that this doesn`t happen to another family the way it`s happened to us.
GRACE: Do you remember that when you learned, the moment that you learned, that George had gone missing?
M. SMITH: Uh-huh.
GRACE: What happened?
M. SMITH: We just went into disbelief. We just thought, "It can`t happen." We just thought, "He`s somewhere else on the ship." We just thought, you know, maybe he`s on a deck chair somewhere. It`s disbelief. It was just disbelief. And, you know, it doesn`t happen to you.
GRACE: So basically, you`re a mom looking for any other answer other than...
M. SMITH: Oh, yes. It wasn`t going to happen to us.
G. SMITH: It couldn`t happen to George.
M. SMITH: No, on a cruise ship.
GRACE: Did you have...
B. SMITH: Yes. And, you know, even when we heard that the boat had been searched, you know, we said, "Well, make sure that waters are being searched." And I pushed and pushed and pushed for the extension of the search, you know, by the Turkish and the Greek coast guard. And they did do that for us.
I tried to get the U.S. Navy in, but unfortunately they couldn`t enter foreign waters.
GRACE: Foreign waters.
B. SMITH: We did everything we could, because George was so strong and so muscular. We thought that he could swim, if, you know, he was OK when he went in the water. But unfortunately, I don`t think he was OK when he went on the overhang.
GRACE: I`ve got a couple of questions. And I don`t even know if you have the answer yet. Was there a video camera showing who was going in and out of his stateroom?
B. SMITH: We`re actually not sure about whether there are video cameras in the hallways. The FBI hasn`t been able to tell us that.
GRACE: How can that be? How can they still not have told you that? And I`m talking about Royal Caribbean cruise line.
B. SMITH: Right, right. Royal Caribbean has told us absolutely nothing. We actually provided a long list of questions. And it was given to the risk management department, which is basically the department in charge of handling lawsuits. And we have not been provided any answers from Royal Caribbean.
GRACE: And I notice that, while we were railing every night on the air about, well, is there video, who was with him last, have they sampled the blood, have they gotten a DNA comparison? What do we know? What are they -- nothing.
And I notice that I believe it was a "Current Affair" reporters were apparently giving the FBI the witnesses before the FBI would find them.
B. SMITH: That`s what we heard on the media. You know, I can`t confirm it, because the FBI doesn`t tell us about their investigation. But I know they`re 100 percent committed. And we are confident they will have an arrest.
GRACE: I believe that they are.
B. SMITH: Yes.
GRACE: Royal Caribbean has given a statement. And they say members of the family remain in shock and pain. Their recollection of events may not reflect what actually happened. "At no time was Jennifer left without resources or contact information. We continue to cooperate closely with the FBI, observe the limitations they have asked us to respect."
Is that true? Did they cooperate with Jennifer? Because that is not what my sources tell me.
B. SMITH: Well, you know, all I know is what Jennifer put in her statement. And so you probably need to ask her yourself. I know that, you know, she`s in the media now and she`s probably willing to answer that question.
But what I do know is what Royal Caribbean failed to do with us, and that`s to provide us with any information. When we had the initial call from Royal Caribbean, they did not tell us that there were suspicious circumstances. They did not tell us that there were Turkish authorities on the boat investigating my brother`s murder. They said, "No news. No news." And that`s all they ever told us.
GRACE: I can`t imagine the feeling of helplessness, you here in the U.S., with him missing somewhere in the Mediterranean.
G. SMITH: You have no idea what`s going on. You know, you`re sitting there with no answers, no one that wants to give you the answers. And you`re just praying and you`re just -- you`re not getting any answers. It`s sad.
GRACE: But you have taken your fight to Congress. What do you want from them?
G. SMITH: We want changes in security, the way passengers are treated on a boat, that there be security on the outside of the boat during the evenings and stuff like that.
We need changes in employment, the way they hire instead of off the docks. You know, paying people $3 an hour when they`re watching people gambling $100. That`s weeks` and weeks` pay for them. It`s very easy for them to go out and say, "Oh, I can make a lot of money very quickly."
GRACE: We are looking for answers tonight in the disappearance of this man.
Very quickly to tonight`s "All-Points Bulletin." Law enforcement across the country on the lookout for Christopher Allen Dean, wanted in connection with the 2002 Michigan murder of 24-year-old Moises Santiago (ph).
Dean, 25, 6`5", 200 pounds, black hair, brown eyes. If you have info, call the FBI, 313-965-2323.
Local news next for some of you. But we`ll all be right back. And remember, a look at this year`s most compelling cases, from Jackson to Peterson to Blake, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern, Court TV.
Please stay with us as we remember tonight Sergeant Brian C. Karim, just 22 -- he should have been in college -- an American hero.
GRACE: Twenty-six-year-old George Smith went missing off a dream honeymoon cruise. His parents and family still looking for answers. Royal Caribbean says they`ve done all they can. Well, maybe Congress will think otherwise.
Very quickly to the Smith family attorney Bret Rivkind, do you believe they are cooperating, Royal Caribbean?
BRET RIVKIND, SMITH FAMILY`S ATTORNEY: I think at this point in time they have no choice, Nancy. But the question is, at the beginning of this investigation, they`ve made the FBI handicapped and disabled in their investigation. I think at this point, with Congress looking at them, with the public looking at them, they have no choice but to cooperate.
GRACE: Well, if you can -- if anyone can get results, it will be Bret Rivkind.
And to Adrianna Gardella, associate editor with "Justice" magazine, do we know anything more tonight?
ADRIANA GARDELLA, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, "JUSTICE" MAGAZINE: In terms of the FBI investigation or...
GRACE: The investigation whatsoever, any answers.
GARDELLA: We still have no answers. I mean, the FBI is being typically tight-lipped about this. We don`t know about any evidence or any lack of evidence, but they are investigating. So that`s what we know on that end. And then hopefully we`ll have more information once this lawsuit gets underway.
GRACE: Why is that?
GARDELLA: Well, during the discovery process, Royal Caribbean will be forced to answer questions and requests for documents. And they`re going to have no choice but to turn over the information that they`ve been keeping so closely guarded so far.
GRACE: Final thoughts?
B. SMITH: I just think that, as difficult as it is for my family to come public and in the spotlight, I think it`s essential, because finally, you know, Congress is taking notice of what`s happened on the cruise lines for far too long. And we just hope that our public involvement will make a difference.
GRACE: You were silent for so long. Why?
B. SMITH: Well, the FBI had requested our silence for their investigation. And additionally, we were mourning and grieving in private. And we just couldn`t do that in front of the cameras.
GRACE: Thank you for visiting with us tonight.
B. SMITH: Thank you.
GRACE: I want to thank all of my guests. Our biggest thank you is to you, for being with us, inviting all of us and our legal stories into your homes. Coming up, headlines from all around the world.
And a special good night from studio (INAUDIBLE) college students up from Georgia. Good night.
I`m Nancy Grace signing off for tonight. See you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.